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The Daily Mail, 'Taking all the fun out of fun' - Timothy Walker , HSE's Director-General responds

The Editor
The Daily Mail
Northcliffe Road
2 Derry Street
W8 5TT

22 July 2005

Dear Sir

Where does Keith Waterhouse get his information from (Taking all the fun out of fun, 21 July)? The idea that Health and Safety Executive inspectors have the time or inclination to "measure children's playground swings to check that they are at the requisite height from the ground" is nonsense and completely misrepresents the serious work the HSE does in trying to prevent more than 200 work-related deaths and 28,000 serious injuries each year.

Likening inspectors to "bloodhounds" is particularly insulting, given the gruesome work they do visiting sites where serious, and often entirely preventable, accidents have occurred.

Work-related deaths, injuries and ill health cause individual human tragedies and generate huge costs to Britain's economy. HSE strives to implement sensible measures to tackle these burdens, and this is where it focuses resources. One phone call would have told Mr Waterhouse that HSE certainly does not license playground swings, let alone charge for certificates.

Yours faithfully

Timothy Walker

Director General, Health and Safety Executive
Updated 2013-01-23